Hamzaoğlu eyes Champions League trophy

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 06.06.2015 01:50
Updated 06.06.2015 01:52

Galatasaray coach Hamzaoğlu thinks big as he aims to win Europe’s biggest prize: the Champions League

The Lions want to add to their domestic success by winning abroad. Meeting with the press at the Florya Metin Oktay Sports Complex, Hamza Hamzaoğlu said: "Our purpose is now to win the Champions League." Galatasaray coach said that they considered their titles in the Spor Toto Super League and the Ziraat Cup as just the beginning and that Galatasaray is a club that was established to win against foreign teams. "This is the beginning for us. Our main target is to achieve success at tournaments held abroad. We are going to participate in the Champions League next year. Our first aim there is to pass through the tournament and go as far as possible. Needless to say, we would like to win the Champions League, but we don't think we will do this very fast. If we can reach this target within five years, it is a huge success for us. The important thing is to protect our structure and stability and add something more to it every year," Hamzaoğlu said.

Although Hamzaoğlu joined Gala at a time when the team was struggling for form and confidence, he was able to lead them to a domestic double in just over a half season in charge. The coach's predecessors, Cesare Prandelli and Roberto Mancini, may have left under a cloud, but Hamzaoğlu went out of his way to acknowledge the work of everyone that went before him. "Since we were aware of this potential, we believed we could achieve," he said, adding that they were happy since they did not disappoint people who trusted them. "I would like to thank everyone who trusted us. We were a good team comprised of good players but we couldn't manage to play together. We learned to play together in progress of time. We combined our strength and our mind, which took us to the spot where we are now. I extend my gratitude to the players and everybody who made great efforts. Starting from Fatih Terim who brought those people together to Mancini and Prandelli who might seem unsuccessful but certainly made huge efforts, everybody made important contributions to receiving these two cups," he said.

Hamzaoğlu notched up the success to his team's ability to cope with various difficulties. "There were hard days but our faith in our team and confidence in ourselves never disappeared. We believed in our championship," he said.

With one season in the rearview mirror, Hamzaoğlu said that the club has already started the transfer process. "Although we are trying to get the transfers done before the training camps, there will be one or two transfers after the camp starts because our team will be shaped during camps and our needs will appear clearer. Certainly there will be one or two transfers by the end of the pre-season. We will strengthen our team with new recruitments as soon as possible but you shouldn't expect many transfers though. We will protect our current team to a large extent because we have a successful team."

Pointing out that Dursun Özbek, the president of Galatasaray, and the club's board of directors want to continue with him, Hamzaoğlu said that he wants to work with Galatasaray for as long as the club wants to work with him. "If I am considered worthy for this duty, I will try to do my best. I don't think there will be a problem."

"We must sell more Turkish footballers"

After a question about whether Inter Milan will sign Felipe Melo, Semih Kaya and Alex Telles, Hamzaoğlu said that he did not want to let his players go but they always have to sell players to foreign teams and replace them with new players. "Unfortunately, we are a country that always buys players. There are very few players that we sell to foreign teams for high sums of money. Arda Turan is a recent example of this. We should become a country that is able to sell its players. Our players also should aim for this. I wish we could sell some other players like Arda. There aren't any offers about these players yet. In case an offer comes, I can send my player if he wants to go. If my player comes to me and says that he doesn't want to go, I will try to help him," he said.

Hamzaoğlu also claimed that apart from the champions, all other teams are seen as unsuccessful despite some achieve relative success. "One team is successful and 17 teams are unsuccessful every year. We can't continue with this understanding. We need to question this logic. Everyone is discussing it but we are always the same in practice. How do we achieve stability? Now many players will be sent to Fenerbahçe and Beşiktaş. New players and coaches will come. There will be many changes. We are always dealing with laying the foundations. We are always on the foundation. We can't go up to the second floor yet," Hamzaoğlu said.

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